After years of yo-yo dieting, Australian women Victoria Black and Gen Davidson lost 40 kg between them using the intermittent fasting methods described in their new book SuperFastDiet. What's more, they have kept the weight off.
Determined to help others do the same, Victoria and Gen created the world's first and now largest online fasting program. In the process, they've built a supportive and fun community of SuperFast enthusiasts (some of whom have lost more than 30 kg). Here are some delicious recipes and check out the website at superfastdiet.com.
Chorizo fritt-ta-ta! with avo toast
We know your eyes are popping out of your head like a Looney Tunes cartoon character right now, but before you run off to the kitchen to make this 'I can't believe it's only 338 cals a serve' master-feast, av-a-go at the calorie boosters below. One word for you, readers: haloumi. To make this vegetarian, swap the chorizo for 200g sliced mushrooms.
125g cured chorizo, finely chopped
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch English spinach, leaves picked and torn
6 large eggs, whisked
4 spring onions, sliced
30g haloumi, finely chopped
1/2 medium avocado
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 wholemeal sandwich thins, split, toasted and halved
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1. Heat a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until golden and the oil starts to be released. Add the tomato and spinach and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Pour over the egg. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, untouched, for 8 minutes or until the egg has set but the top is still a little moist.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven grill to high.
3. Sprinkle the spring onion over the frittata, then scatter on the haloumi. Put the pan under the grill and cook for a further 5-7 minutes or until the top is set, puffed and golden. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
4. Mash the avocado and vinegar together and season to taste. Spread the avocado over the sandwich thins and divide among four plates. Serve the avocado toast with the frittata and lemon wedges.
Calorie boosters per serve: 5g toasted slivered almonds = 30 cals; 30g haloumi = 101 cals; 1 slice flaxseed bread = 130 cals.
Calorie savers: Use 3 large eggs and 3 egg whites
Beef and broccolini stir-fry
Got a stirring desire for some stir-fry? This quick and easy lunch packs an Asian flavour punch and includes cashews, which everyone knows are superb with beef and oyster sauce. At only 200 calories, you may want to throw in rice to make this extra nice. Takeout at home? Can do. Chopsticks optional.
1/4 tsp sesame oil
400g lean beef fillet, thinly sliced, seasoned with freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 spring onions, cut into 2cm lengths
2 bunches broccolini, trimmed, cut into 4cm lengths
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cashews, toasted, chopped
1. Heat a large non-stick wok over high heat. Add the oil, beef and garlic and stir-fry for 4 minutes or until the beef is cooked and golden.
2. Add the spring onion, broccolini, oyster sauce and 1/4 cup water to the wok and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
3. Remove the wok from the heat. Toss through the cashews and serve.
Calorie boosters per serve: 1 zucchini, spiralised = 30 cals; 1 carrot, spiralised = 41 cals; 1/2 cup (95 g) cooked jasmine rice = 159 cals.
Chicken schnitty tray bake
A massive family fave. Plonk this on the table to oohs and ahhs and cries of "Bravo, super chef of the universe!" and "Can I get your autograph, oh parent of the year?" Little wonder when you consider there are crumbs and cobs and cheesy nobs - it's enough to make restaurateurs schnitty 'cos you'd rather eat at home ...
4 x 120 g lean chicken breast fillets
2 tsbp red wine vinegar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced crossways
4 roma tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges
2 corn cobs, husks and silks removed, each cut into 6 rounds
2 x 3-second sprays olive oil, plus 1 extra
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
100g cherry bocconcini, finely chopped
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and halved diagonally crossways
1/2 cup small basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced). Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. Place the chicken, vinegar, dried herbs, garlic, tomato and corn in a large bowl. Spray with oil and season to taste, then toss well to combine. Spread the mixture over the prepared tray and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine the panko crumbs and bocconcini in a small bowl. Season to taste.
4. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the chicken and spray with the extra oil. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are cooked and golden. Sprinkle with the basil and serve.
Calorie boosters per serve: 1/2 cup mashed cauliflower = 17 cals; 1/2 cup dry-roasted potato wedges = 76 cals; 1/2 cup cooked pasta shapes = 94 cals.
Creamy mushroom stroganoff
This puts the "um" in "yum" because ... um, seriously?! But yes, you can have this on a fast day at only 481 calories a serve, and you can enjoy all the wondrous ingredients worry-free (including cream, pasta and mushrooms). Highly recommend you add the shaved parmesan for only 20 cals. Seems silly not to, really.
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
3 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp salt-reduced tomato paste
500g mixed mushrooms (Swiss brown, cap, portobello), sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200ml thickened cream
250g dried pasta
2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1. Heat a large deep non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the sweet paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
2. Add the mushroom and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened and golden. Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic and cream and simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until the sauce is heated through. Season to taste.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water for 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
4. Add the cooked pasta and zucchini to the mushroom mixture and stir in the parsley. Season to taste and gently toss to combine, adding a little pasta water to loosen if needed.
5. Divide the stroganoff among plates or shallow bowls and serve.
Calorie boosters per serve: 1/2 cup steamed green beans = 16 cals; 1 tablespoon shredded parmesan = 51 cals; 30g Greek feta, crumbled = 92 cals.
Calorie savers: Replace the pasta with konjac pasta.
Apple oat dessert slice with cinnamon yoghurt
Everyone loves a slice and these beauties are packed full of fibre as well as taste - as well as fitting in with your fast-day cal count. A sweet trifecta right there and perfect lunchbox fare. Seems almost cin-ful as you munch and dunk ...
150g butter, softened
1/4 cup (pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 green apple, cored and finely chopped
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
50g butter, melted
300g Greek-style yoghurt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan-forced). Line the base and sides of a 22 cm x 18 cm slice tin with baking paper.
2. Place the butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and eggs in a bowl and mix with hand-held electric beaters on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Stir in the apple and flour. Using slightly damp fingers, press the mixture evenly over the base of the prepared tin.
3. To make the maple oats, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture in the tin and press down lightly.
4. Bake the slice for 35 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cut into eight pieces.
5. To make the cinnamon yoghurt, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Serve with the apple slice.
SuperFastDiet by Victoria Black and Gen Davidson, published by Macmillan Australia, $34.99, Pictures: Rob Palmer.